|Full name||Giovanni Silva de Oliverra|
|Date of birth||4 February 1972|
|Place of birth||Belém, Brazil|
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Position(s)||Attacking midfielder, forward|
|1993||→ Remo (loan)||16||(5)|
|1994||→ Paysandu (loan)||0||(0)|
|1994||→ Sãocarlense (loan)||4||(2)|
|1994||→ Santos (loan)||11||(1)|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals|
At club level, Giovanni most notably played for Spanish side Barcelona, Greek side Olympiacos, and Brazilian club Santos. Internationally, he played for the Brazil national team, gaining 18 caps and scoring 6 goals; he was part of the Brazilian team that reached the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final.
In his prime, Giovanni was one of Barcelona's most valuable players, but after the arrival of Louis van Gaal at the club, he got into conflict with the Dutch manager, along with fellow Brazilians Rivaldo (whom van Gaal wanted to use as a left winger, despite his protests) and Sonny Anderson. He famously called van Gaal "a Hitler for Brazilians, and an egomaniac". At Olympiacos Giovanni had the happiest and most successful days of his career, and is still remembered as a club legend by supporters.
Born in Belém but raised in Abaetetuba, Pará, Giovanni started his career with lowly amateurs Taça Luz in 1990, and moved to Tuna Luso shortly after. After impressing in the youth setup, he made his first team debut in a 2–1 Copa do Brasil win over CSA, scoring a brace.
Giovanni scored 17 goals in the 1992 Campeonato Paraense, with five of them coming in a 8–0 home routing of Tiradentes. In 1993, he was loaned to Série A side Remo, but could not repeat the same success.
In 1994, after a very brief period where he featured in two friendly matches for Paysandu (where he considered quitting the sport), Giovanni played for Sãocarlense in the Campeonato Paulista Série A2. He played only four matches in two months, and was subsequently set to move to Palmeiras; however, after becoming ill while waiting for his medical, he returned to his hometown and the move never materialized.
As his last match for Sãocarlense was televised, Giovanni impressed Santos president Samir Abdul-Hak, who decided to sign him on loan until the end of the year. He made his debut for the club on 25 September, replacing Ranielli in a 4–1 away success over former club Remo, and scored his first goal on 30 October in a 1–0 win over Paraná.
For the 1995 season, Giovanni was bought by Santos, with club legend Pelé himself funding his transfer. A starter during the 1995 Campeonato Paulista, he scored a hat-trick in a 4–1 home routing of Ponte Preta. He repeated the feat on 20 October, in a victory over Grêmio for the same scoreline.
Giovanni scored 17 goals in the 1995 Série A as Santos finished runners-up in the tournament; in the semi-finals against Fluminense, Santos lost 4–1 in the first leg away, and Giovanni dyed his hair red to show faith in the team. He displayed a splendid game in the second leg and Santos managed to win 5–2, with Giovanni scoring twice and assisting the club's final goal, which was scored by Marcelo Passos. Unfortunately, he could not help Santos overcome Botafogo in the final game. Nonetheless, he is still known to many Santos supporters as "Messias" (Messiah) and his fans named themselves "Giovanni's Witnesses" – a reference to the religion "Jehovah's Witnesses".
On 7 April 1996, Giovanni scored four goals in a 8–2 win over União São João. He scored two hat-tricks against Ferroviária and Araçatuba, and finished the 1996 Paulista as the top scorer with 24 goals.
On 18 June 1996, Giovanni moved abroad for the first time in his career, after signing with Spanish club Barcelona, for a rumoured fee of US$ 7.8 million. He was a first team regular for two seasons and scored 18 goals overall. Barcelona fans still remember him for his ability to score game-winning goals against rivals Real Madrid. In his first year with Barcelona he won the 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup under manager Bobby Robson. When Louis van Gaal took the lead in his third year at the club, however, he eventually fell out of favour with the Dutch manager, along with compatriot Sonny Anderson, despite scoring crucial goals in games such as the 1997 UEFA Super Cup second leg game against Borussia Dortmund. Due to his poor relationship with van Gaal, Giovanni left for Greek club Olympiacos in the summer of 1999, for a record transfer fee of £10,800,000. Later on in his career, he caused some controversy, by referring to van Gaal as a Hitler for Brazilians, and an egomaniac.
In Greece, Giovanni soon established himself as one of the best players of the Greek league.
A flamboyant striker, he was known for his inventive dribbling, passing range, and ability to lob the goalkeeper, as well as for having a penchant to beat opposing defenders by passing the ball through their legs (a move known as the nutmeg). His technique on the ball and the variety of fascinating moves he deployed during matches saw him become a highly popular player and a heroic figure to the Olympiacos fans, and he is regarded as one of the club's best ever players. His talent and skills earned him the nickname "magos" (μάγος) "wizard" in Greece.
On 27 May 2005, Santos confirmed the return of Giovanni. During the season, he appeared in 29 games and scored four goals, but after only one match into the 2006 campaign, he was told to leave by manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo.
After his short return to Brazil, Giovanni played for several clubs abroad, such as Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal, Greek club Ethnikos, before returning to Brazil to play for Sport Recife in April 2007. However, weeks after arriving at the latter, he left the club as manager Alexandre Gallo also departed.
Second return to SantosEdit
After passing the team's medical exams, Giovanni returned to Santos on 13 January 2010, with a contract until August. Although he played very few matches for the club, he finally managed to win his first title with Santos, the Campeonato Paulista. In June 2010 season, he announced his retirement from professional football.
Giovanni earned 18 caps with the Brazil national team, scoring six goals for the "seleção". He was a member of the team that won the 1997 Copa América, and also represented his Country during the 1998 World Cup in France, where Brazil went on to reach the final, only to suffer a 3–0 defeat to the host nation.
Style of playEdit
A versatile playmaker, his natural and favorite position was as an attacking midfielder, but he could also play as a forward, being an exceptional goalscorer. He was predominantly known for his world-class technique, his exceptional dribbling skills, and his outstanding flair and creativity on the ball, which saw him employ a variety of crafty moves, as well as his passing accuracy and goalscoring ability.
- Appearance(s) in Supercopa Libertadores
- Appearance(s) in Copa dos Campeões Mundiais
- Appearance(s) in UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
- Appearance(s) in Supercopa de España
- Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
- Two appearances and one goal in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances and two goals in Supercopa de España
- Five appearances and four goals in UEFA Champions League, one appearance in UEFA Cup
- Six appearances and three goals in UEFA Champions League, two appearances in UEFA Cup
- Six appearances in UEFA Champions League, three appearances in UEFA Cup
- Appearance(s) in Copa Sudamericana
|Brazil national team|
|1.||31 August 1996||Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands||Netherlands||1 – 0||2–2||Friendly|
|2.||13 November 1996||Estádio Couto Pereira, Curitiba, Brazil||Cameroon||1 – 0||2–0||Friendly|
|3.||26 February 1997||Estádio Serra Dourada, Goiânia, Brazil||Poland||1 – 0||4–2||Friendly|
|4.||2 – 0|
|5.||3 June 1998||Stade Bauer, Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, France||Andorra||1 – 0||3–0||Friendly|
|6.||5 June 1999||Estádio Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil||Netherlands||2 – 0||2–2||Friendly|
- La Liga: 1997–98, 1998–99
- Copa del Rey: 1996–97, 1997–98
- Supercopa de España: 1996
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1996–97
- UEFA Super Cup: 1997
- Alpha Ethniki: 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05
- Greek Cup: 2004–05; runner-up: 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04
- "Smakeloze Giovanni: "Van Gaal is net Hitler"". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "Τζιοβάνι: Αφιέρωμα στον μάγο που δεν θα ξεχάσουμε ποτέ". Archived from the original on June 24, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
- "Personalidade, golaços, dribles e silêncio: Giovanni completa 48 anos e festeja na web" [Personality, great goals, dribbles and silence: Giovanni turns 48 and celebrates on the web] (in Brazilian Portuguese). O Liberal. 4 February 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
- "O brilho do Pará nas duas camisas" [The glare of Pará on the two shirts] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Dol. 17 December 1991. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
- "Giovanni atuando nos clubes paraenses" [Giovanni playing in the clubs of Pará] (in Brazilian Portuguese). O Curioso do Futebol. 2 April 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
- "Paraense Giovanni, quase Deus para os gregos" [Paraense Giovanni, nearly a god to the Greek] (in Brazilian Portuguese). O Liberal. 4 February 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
- "Lembra Dele? Giovanni, o 'Messias' santista, reclama de injustiça em 98" [Remember him? Giovanni, the 'Messiah' santista, complains about injustice in 98] (in Brazilian Portuguese). ge. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
- "Santos ganha o jogo, mas não o ponto extra" [Santos win the match, but not the extra point] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 26 September 1994. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
- "30/10/1994 – Santos 1 x 0 Paraná – Campeonato Brasileiro" (in Brazilian Portuguese). Acervo Santista. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
- "Empresa de Pelé ajudou Santos a contratar Giovanni" [Pelé's company helped Santos to buy Giovanni] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 30 November 2001. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Giovanni marca três gols e lidera Santos na goleada sobre a Ponte" [Giovanni scores three goals and leads Santos in the thrashing of Ponte] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 21 March 1995. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Santos vence com 3 gols do meia Giovanni" [Santos win with 3 goals from midfielder Giovanni] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 20 October 1995. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Giovanni faz 4 e Santos goleia União" [Giovanni scores 4 and Santos thrash União] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 7 April 1996. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Santos goleia a Ferroviária na Vila com três gols de Giovanni" [Santos thrash Ferroviária at the Vila with three goals from Giovanni] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Santos goleia Araçatuba na Vila Belmiro" [Santos thrash Araçatuba at the Vila Belmiro] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 27 May 1996. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Giovanni é o artilheiro do Paulista-96" [Giovanni is the top scorer of the 96 Paulista] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 7 June 1996. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- Carbonell, Rafael (18 June 1996). "El Barca ficha a Giovanni y le fija una cláusula de 3.000 millones" [Barca sign Giovanni and give him a 3,000 million clause]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Giovanni dá adeus hoje ao Santos" [Giovanni bids farewell from Santos] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 20 June 1996. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
- uefa.com (1 April 1998). "UEFA Super Cup - History – UEFA.com". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- 1997 UEFA Super Cup
- Interactive, Pegasus. "Ο μάγος Τζιοβάνι γράφει για τα μαγικά του στην Ελλάδα!". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "Τιμή στον «μάγο» Τζιοβάνι! - gavros.gr - ΓΑΥΡΟΣ - Ερυθρόλευκες Ταξιαρχίες". Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- "Giovanni renueva con el Olympiakos" [Giovanni renews with Olympiacos] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 20 May 2002. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Santos confirma Giovanni e deve inscrevê-lo na Libertadores" [Santos confirm Giovanni and may register him in the Libertadores] (in Brazilian Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 27 May 2005. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Santos descarta Giovanni, Pitbull e Luizão para enfrentar o Mogi" [Santos discard Giovanni, Pitbull and Luizão to face Mogi] (in Brazilian Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 14 January 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Giovanni no Al Hilal" [Giovanni at Al Hilal] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Diário do Nordeste. 24 January 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Sport Recife apresenta meia-atacante Giovanni, ex-Santos" [Sport Recife present attacking midfielder Giovanni, formerly of Santos] (in Brazilian Portuguese). O Estado de S. Paulo. 17 April 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "A passagem relâmpago de Giovanni pelo Sport" [The flash stint of Giovanni at Sport] (in Brazilian Portuguese). O Curioso do Futebol. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Amizade com Rivaldo fez Giovanni repensar aposentadoria" [Friendship with Rivaldo made Giovanni think back about retirement] (in Brazilian Portuguese). ESPN Brasil. 25 December 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Giovanni é anunciado como reforço do Mogi Mirim para o Paulistão 2009" [Giovanni is announced as an addition of Mogi Mirim for the 2009 Paulistão] (in Brazilian Portuguese). GloboEsporte.com. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Com grande festa, Santos apresenta Giovanni nesta quarta" [With a great party, Santos present Giovanni this Wednesday] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Terra. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Giovanni não jogará mais pelo Santos, e diretoria prepara despedida". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Giovanni – FIFA competition record (archived)
- Giovanni at Soccerway. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
- "Temporada 1994" [1994 season] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Acervo Santista. January 1994. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Temporada 1995" [1995 season] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Acervo Santista. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Temporada 1996" [1996 season] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Acervo Santista. January 1996. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Matches Giovanni, 1996–97 season". BDFutbol. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Matches Giovanni, 1997–98 season". BDFutbol. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Matches Giovanni, 1998–99 season". BDFutbol. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Giovanni". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 8 July 2022.